Tuscaloosa spending thousands to rent Christmas lights

Tuscaloosa Christmas light rental

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -More Christmas lights are about to go up around Tuscaloosa. We’re learning how much of your tax dollars are being used to put them up.

The city tells us its renting Christmas lights for almost $60,000. Some money is also coming out of the city’s emergency spending fund. But Councilwoman Sonya McKinstry who requested an additional $14,000 says most of it will be put back into the reserve fund.

The lights will go up at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater for the city’s annual “Holidays on the River”. Lights will also be installed at Gateway and the Alberta fountain and park. A Tuscaloosa company will put up the lights as well.

McKinstry says she’s also getting lights in her district. We’re told the money for McKinstry’s lights will come out of the emergency spending fund. She tells us she plans to use about $5,000 of the $14,000 she requested.

McKinstry feels the lights could be cheaper if the city bought them instead of renting.

“If this is what we’re going to be doing, we need to buy them. And it we want a company to come in and continue to decorate for us that’s all good and fine but let them decorate with things that we own,” McKinstry said.

The city’s Holidays on the River event has been taking place since 2012. No word yet if the city has been renting Christmas lights the entire time.

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